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Aasia Bibi files appeal in Pakistan’s top court

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Aasia Bibi files appeal in Pakistan’s top court

Country/Region: Pakistan, South and East Asia

The Christian mother of five children, sentenced to death for “blasphemy” in Pakistan, has filed an appeal to the country’s top court on 24 November. After the High Court in Lahore upheld Aasia Bibi’s conviction on 16 October, this appeal is her last recourse in the Pakistani judicial system.

Aasia Bibi files appeal to Pakistan’s top court in final recourse to clear her of “blasphemy” death sentence
Aasia Bibi files appeal to Pakistan’s top court in final recourse to clear her of “blasphemy” death sentence

Her lawyer, Saiful Malook, has asked the court to reconsider the case on the basis of manipulated and deficient evidence, and in particular the delay between the time of the incident and the police investigation. In a statement, he said “We expect an early hearing of the appeal and hope that the proceedings will be over in one year.”

Aasia Bibi was arrested in June 2009 and has been on death row since 2010 after she was accused of insulting the prophet Mohammed when she was working with some Muslim women in a field. A dispute ensued when the women said that as a non-Muslim she was unfit to touch the water bowl.

Her husband wrote an open letter to the president of Pakistan last week, requesting a presidential pardon and permission to move to France, where they have been offered refuge. 54 British MPs also signed a letter addressed to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Justice Nasir-Ul-Mulk appealing for their urgent attention to Aasia’s case.

Although no one has yet been executed for “blasphemy” in Pakistan, it is a highly sensitive issue that often leads to mob violence and there is a high risk of attack for those accused. There are currently 17 people on death row who have been accused of “blasphemy”, five of whom are Christians.

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christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

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    • Praise God that local police in the village of Tehsil Summodri, Faisalabad District, Pakistan acted to withdraw false allegations of blasphemy against 31 Christians and 23 other villagers. The allegations under Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code (which carries a mandatory death sentence) were made on 2 September when Christians were ploughing a piece of land given to them for free by its Muslim owner to extend the local Christian cemetery. A group of Muslims accused them of desecrating Muslim graves. The police investigation revealed that the land had been a Muslim cemetery many years earlier but the graves had been moved elsewhere. They changed the charges to the lesser ones under Section 297 (which carries a maximum prison sentence of one year or a fine). It is very unusual for the Pakistani police to defend the rights of Christians in this way. Pray that others will follow their example. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 7 hours ago

    • School text-books in Turkey are still teaching that the Armenians and most other Christian minorities of the Ottoman Empire a century ago were agents of enemy foreign powers such as Britain and Russia. This, the books say, was the reason for what they call the “necessary deportation” of the Christians. Turkey still does not accept blame for the deaths of at least 1.5 million Armenian and Assyrian Christians, many massacred or dying of deprivation as they were force-marched out of their homeland. Next year, 2015, is the 100th anniversary of the worst year of the Armenian and Assyrian Genocide. Please pray that the innocent suffering of these faithful believers will be recognised by every country and that the world will resolve never to let such a genocide happen again. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Nov 2014 00:00

    • Pray for 27 Christians, believed to be from various Asian countries, who were detained overnight by the Saudi authorities on 5 September for worshipping at a private home in Khafji. The home had been under surveillance since a neighbour had reported suspicious activities there. Pray that the Lord will protect His people in Saudi Arabia, where it is illegal to practise a non-Islamic religion in public but supposedly permissible to do so in private. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Nov 2014 00:00

    • Wao, a predominantly Christian town on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines, is protesting against its inclusion in the new semi-independent Islamic region of Bangsamoro. Wao’s mayor, Elvino Balicao, is seeking exemption from the Bangsamoro government and its Islamic law and has asked that the town remain under the central government. He said that the town is 83% Christian and that local churches support exemption from Bangsamoro. Wao is in the centre of the Muslim-majority province of Lanao del Sur. Pray that the Lord will protect His people and that Wao will gain exemption from the Bangsamoro government. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Nov 2014 00:00

    • Our Father in Heaven, we lift up our brothers and sisters serving sentences in labour camps in North Korea, whether foreigners like Kenneth Bae from the USA, or the far greater number of North Korean believers whose names we do not know but You do. Please pour out Your grace into their lives as they suffer hunger, exhaustion, pain and imprisonment for the sake of Christ. May they continue steadfast in their faith, loving their enemies and praying for their persecutors. May their Christ-like lives draw other North Koreans to You. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Nov 2014 00:00

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